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Francesco Francia

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Francesco Francia
Bentivolio coin by Francesco Francia.

Francesco Francia, whose real name was Francesco Raibolini (1447 – 5 January 1517) was an Italian painter, goldsmith, and medallist from Bologna, who was also director of the city mint.[1][2]

He may have trained with Marco Zoppo and was first mentioned as a painter in 1486. His earliest known work is the Felicini Madonna, which is signed and dated 1494. He worked in partnership with Lorenzo Costa, and was influenced by Ercole de' Roberti's and Costa's style. After 1505 he was influenced more by Perugino and Raphael. He had a large workshop and trained Marcantonio Raimondi, Ludovico Marmitta,[3] and several other artists; he produced niellos, in which Raimondi first learnt to engrave, soon excelling his master, according to Vasari. Raphael's Santa Cecilia is supposed to have produced such a feeling of inferiority in Francia that it caused him to die of depression. However, as his friendship with Raphael is now well-known, this story has been discredited.

He died in Bologna. His sons Giacomo Francia and Giulio Francia were also artists.

Works (selection of paintings)


Until 1500


Years 1500-10

  • Madonna and Child, c. 1500, 67 cm x 52 cm, oil on wood, Wallington National Trust, Northumberland
  • Madonna and Child with Saints Francis and Jerome,[5] 1500–10, 75 cm x 57 cm, tempera on wood, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • The Annunciation with St. Albert the Carmelite, c. 1503–04, 182 cm x 132 cm, oil on canvas (formerly wood), Musée Condé, Chantilly
  • Adoration of the Child, 1500–05, 175 cm x 132 cm, oil on wood, Alte Pinakothek, Munich
  • Evangelista Scappi, 1500–05, 55 cm x 44 cm, oil on wood, Uffizi, Florence
  • Bishop Altobello Averoldo,[6] c. 1505, 54 cm x 41 cm, oil on wood, National Gallery of Art, Washington
  • Crucifixion, c. 1505, 246 cm x 146 cm, oil on wood, San Giacomo Maggiore, Bologna
  • The life of Saint Cecilia and her husband Valerian - scene 1 (The Marriage) & 10 (The Burial), 1504–1506, 360 cm x 290 cm, frescoes, Oratorio di Santa Cecilia, Bologna
  • Venus and Cupid, 1505–10, 80 cm x 49 cm, oil on wood, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Mulhouse
  • Baptism of Jesus, 1509, 209 cm x 169 cm, oil on wood, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden

After 1510

  • The Holy Family, c. 1510, 64 cm x 49 cm, oil on wood, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
  • Federico Gonzaga (son of Isabella d'Este),[7] 1510, 45 cm x 34 cm, oil on wood transferred to canvas and finally again on wood, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • Portrait likely Isabella d'Este, 1511, 44 cm x 35 cm, oil on wood, Vienna
  • Pala Buonvisi,[8] 1510–12, 195 cm x 180 cm, oil on wood, National Gallery, London
  • Presentation of Jesus in the temple,[9] 1510–13, 201 cm x 145 cm, oil on wood, Pinacoteca Comunale di Cesena, Italy
  • Virgin and the Child and the Infant St. John the Baptist,[10] 1510–15, 65 cm x 51 cm, oil on wood, São Paulo Museum of Art
  • Virgin and the Child and the Infant St. John the Baptist (Francesco Francia and sons),[11] c. 1515, 115 cm x 94 cm, oil on wood, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

See also





  1. ^ Levinson:492
  2. ^ Mrs Jameson (December 29, 1866). "Lives of the Early Painters: Francesco Raibolini, Called Il Francia". The American Art Journal. 6 (10): 152–153. JSTOR 25306713.
  3. ^ Dizionario biografico dei Parmigiani illustri o benemeriti nelle scienze, nelle lettere, e nelle arti, by Giovanni Battista Janelli, Genoa, 1877, page 241.
  4. ^ https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/francesco-francia-bartolomeo-bianchini (18.04.2022)
  5. ^ Francia, Madonna and Child, 1500, Metropolitan
  6. ^ https://www.nga.gov/collection/art-object-page.41679.html (18.04.2022)
  7. ^ http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/436333 (18.04.2022)
  8. ^ https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/francesco-francia-saint-anne-with-the-virgin-and-four-saints (18.04.2022)
  9. ^ https://w3id.org/arco/resource/HistoricOrArtisticProperty/0800024493
  10. ^ https://masp.org.br/en/collections/works/virgin-and-the-child-and-the-infant-st-john-the-baptist (18.04.2022)
  11. ^ https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/work/97141/ (18.04.2022)



Further reading